(ATR) Japan’s Olympic minister and the head of the IOC’s Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission are in agreement. The postponed Games will be held in 2021.
Seiko Hashimoto, Japan Olympic minister (Wikimedia Commons)
Seiko Hashimoto told a news conference on Tuesday that the Games must be held “at any cost”, citing the efforts of the athletes to be ready despite the coronavirus pandemic.
Her comments come a day after IOC vice-president John Coates told AFP
that Tokyo 2020 would go ahead “with or without Covid”, adding that they would be the “Games that conquered Covid”.
The strong statements from Hashimoto and Coates come just ahead of Wednesday’s IOC Executive Board meeting. Coates will be briefing the EB on the latest Tokyo 2020 preparations during the virtual meeting.
A Japanese government panel, including Games organizers and other stakeholders, met on Friday for the first of five scheduled meetings to develop countermeasures for coronavirus.
Among the topics of discussion for future meetings will be border control for athletes and other parties and anti-virus measures and logistics for spectators. Given the current restrictions in place, it would seem unlikely there will be many overseas visitors traveling to Tokyo to attend the Games.
But Tokyo 2020 chief executive officer Toshiro Muto said on Friday “We will have to consider what the immigration control would be at that time”.
Muto added “we’d like to come to some conclusion” for countermeasures by the end of the year.
He reiterated that a vaccine is not imperative in order to stage the Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer.
The delayed Tokyo Games are scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021 with the Paralympics to follow from Aug. 24.
Homepage photo: ATR
Written by Gerard Farek
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